As Wyoming lawmakers discuss and examine documents pertaining to the biennium budget, a number of bills have begun to pass through the legislative process.
One such bill is HB 0089. This bill proposes adding language to Wyoming State Statute 30‑5‑104. That statute defines the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission powers, duties and regulations. The new language would give the commission the authority to plug a well, prohibit drilling or regulate production if an owner or producer has more than $2 million in unpaid taxes that are more than 90 days delinquent of ad valorem tax on gross product of their mineral production.
Essentially, the language gives the commission authority to take actions on mineral producers who fail to keep up with their tax payments.
The bill has been introduced and is scheduled for discussion by the House Minerals, Business & Economic Development committee.
The bill aims to prevent situations much like the cases in which Johnson and Campbell Counties found themselves just a short time ago. Each county was owed millions of dollars in back property taxes which developed into long and expensive court cases involving Carbon Creek and Powder River Midstream.